At DePaul, legal education is about more than studying cases and
theories. It’s about mastering professional skills and gaining the
confidence needed to excel in the legal profession.
DePaul’s four-semester Legal Analysis, Research &
Communication (LARC) curriculum is a comprehensive introduction to the
legal reasoning process. Presented through a series of increasingly
complex research exercises and written assignments, the coursework is
designed to provide students with tools to hone legal thought and
Students take LARC coursework both semesters of their first year
and either fall or spring semester of the second year. The skills taught
are interrelated and, as an integrated whole, comprise a unique method
of thought and expression essential for lawyers to work successfully in
all environments. Each LARC assignment introduces different facets of
the legal reasoning process; no single skill functions alone or can
compensate for the lack of the others.
small classroom sizes, dedicated teaching assistants and individual
attention LARC coursework deconstructs the legal thought process and
- Develop and communicate legal analysis skills in written and oral form
- Develop and execute sound, professional legal judgment
Required First-Year Coursework
All first-year students are required to take two semesters of
Legal Analysis, Research & Communication (LARC). Each semester is
worth two credit hours. Courses are taught by full-time instructors in
small class sections that typically number between 14 and 17 students.
Each semester, students also attend two private conferences with their
instructors to receive individualized guidance on their assignments.
Both LARC I and II require five major writing projects, as well
as a number of smaller assignments. LARC I addresses synthesis,
analysis, written communication and plain-language drafting in a
predictive format utilizing a process approach emphasizing mastery of
discrete writing skills. LARC II expands upon this initial instruction
and includes research skills and strategy, persuasive writing at the
trial court level and reporting orally to a supervising attorney.
Students work on increasingly difficult assignments as whole products,
rather than component parts as in LARC I. Students also begin learning
computer-assisted legal research techniques.
Similar to the College of Law’s certificate programs, several of
the first-year LARC sections are specialized by subject matter.
First-year, full-time students may apply for one of three special
sections focusing on child and family law, intellectual property law
(including IP Law, IP: Information Technology Law and IP: Arts and
Museum Law) and public interest law.
Students in these specialized sections complete the same course
requirements as students in the general legal writing sections, but many
of their assignments are drawn from the particular area of law.
Admission to these sections is very competitive and students may apply
to only one section at the time they apply for JD admission. Applicants
are notified of their acceptance into the special LARC sections after
receiving their letters of admission to the College of Law.
Required Second-Year Coursework
All second-year students are required to take a third semester of
legal writing in either the fall or spring semester. The coursework is
comprised of five major writing projects and a number of smaller
assignments, like LARC I and II.
The purpose of the third semester is to reinforce and deepen the
instruction that students received in LARC I and II. Students meet
weekly in slightly smaller sections where they are exposed to drafting
of trial-level motions, persuasive argumentation at the appellate level
and oral advocacy skills.
In addition to LARC I, II and III, all students are required to
take an approved upper-level writing course. The curriculum includes
courses in legal drafting, advanced legal research and judicial and
scholarly writing. These upper-level courses address many essential
communication and analytical skills, including contract drafting and
revision, research and analysis of complex legal issues, use of
sophisticated research sources, scholarly research and writing and
In addition, students can further hone their research and writing
skills while exploring subjects in depth by joining any of DePaul's
five student-edited legal journals. These publications include the
DePaul Law Review; Business & Commercial Law Journal; Journal of
Art, Technology & Intellectual Property Law; Journal for Social
Justice and the Journal of Sports Law & Contemporary Problems.